Living as a Timocrat

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (1 Cor. 9:19)


WHILE USING AN ONLINE DICTIONARY, the "Word of the Day" caught my interest because I had not heard it before. The word was timocracy. When I read the meaning, "a form of government in which love of honor is the dominant motive of the rulers," I realized why I'd never heard of it. It seems impossible that rulers like this have ever existed in humankind. The word's origin is Greek (1580–1590), and its second meaning is probably more familiar: "a state where only property owners may participate in government." Over the ages, wealth has elevated most rulers.

But looking at the leadership of Paul, I see a man who lived with a motive fed by his love of God's honor. Paul so loved Jesus and the power of the gospel that he made himself "a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible" (1 Cor. 9:19). God makes living as a timocrat possible! Even though we are completely free, God's great love motivates us to do what it takes, even living as a servant of others in order to win some to Christ. In God's kingdom, loving His honor is one of our top priorities. God has made us spiritually wealthy, which empowers us to follow Paul's example and make ourselves slaves to everyone and lead as many as possible to Christ.

Love God's honor by serving as many people as possible.

Susan Browning Schulz is a Bible teacher, wife, and mom of three grown children. She lives and plays on the Etowah River in Georgia and loves leading her small group.